Gila National Forest – Update on Tadpole Fire for June 20, 2020, Silver City Ranger District

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Fire Information Line: (575) 654-4181

Visit the New Mexico Fire Information website at

Additional Fire Information available:

Office hours: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 

Location:  12 miles north of Silver City               Start Date: June 6, 2020            Size:  7,874 acres         

Cause:  Lightning                                             Total Personnel: 155                Containment:  30%

Vegetation:  Timber with grass understory, brush, and chaparral

Resources: Six initial attack handcrews, four Type 6 light fire engines, one Type 4 medium fire engine, one Type 3 light helicopter, one Type 1 heavy helicopter. Air tankers are available at the Gila Aerial Fire Base.

SUMMARY:  The Tadpole Fire, was ignited by lightning and reported on June 6. The fire increased by 374 acres yesterday to 7,874 acres and is 30% contained. The fire started on the southwest portion of Tadpole Ridge, on the Gila National Forest. The fire is burning in timber with grass understory, brush, and chaparral.

Yesterday, in order to reinforce the road, holding crews supported by engines continued hand ignition operations along NM Hwy 15 to a point just south of McMillan Campground.  Aerial ignitions were performed over the interior of the fire to minimize the spread of fire in timber stands. This will act as a preventative measure to decrease the potential for uncontrolled spread of fire and manage for low intensity fire.

Crews continue to hold and strengthen containment lines along the north and east flanks. As the fire backs down from TX Mountain the focus will shift to securing the NM Hwy 15 corridor. The fire will continue to back down Wilson Creek, however, the fire is NOT established in or near Bear Creek.

Residents of Grant County can expect to see continued smoke production over the Tadpole Fire today as interior islands consume and aerial ignition is performed. Significant smoke impacts may be observed in low lying areas overnight from the Tadpole Fire as well as other regional fires.

WEATHER: Very dry conditions occurred over the fire area yesterday with observed humidity in the single digits. Winds were mild in the morning with breezy conditions observed in the afternoon. Today will be similar with west-southwest winds of 8-13 mph and gusts to 23 mph.  Decreased humidity and active wind resulted in increased smoke production yesterday and we anticipate similar smoke production today. 

FIRE BEHAVIOR: Moderate fire activity was observed in Wilson Creek drainage, fire is backing down TX mountain and A-Four mountain with isolated torching and short runs back into the main fire.

CLOSURES: The Gila National Forest has issued a closure order for the area encompassing the Tadpole Fire. The order remains in effect until August 30, 2020, or until rescinded. Additionally, NM Hwy 15 will remain closed until further notice, refer to NM 511 for more information 

For more information follow this link or visit the Gila National Forest website under Alerts and Notices. 

AIR QUAILITY: Air quality monitoring stations are in place and are providing smoke data and an air quality summary. For localized smoke impacts visit Wildland Fire Air Quality Response Program  and for real time smoke monitoring data and a daily smoke summary.

Please see the New Mexico Department of Health site also known as 5-3-1, for guidance on mitigating your smoke exposure.  Smoke-sensitive individuals and people with respiratory problems are encouraged to take precautionary measures by staying inside during heavy smoke periods and avoiding outdoor activities.

SAFETY:  The Gila National Forest is currently under a campfire ban, including the use of charcoal grills. Use of pressurized fuel devices with an on/off switch are acceptable.

A temporary flight restriction is in place over the fire area. Wildfires are a No Drone Zone. For more information visit Know Before You Fly, .

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